The Perfect LBD

One is never over or under dressed
with a little black dress.
— Karl Lagerfeld

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Aaah, the LBD. It’s as essential as the ability to do pushups or run 400m in motorcycle boots. An unquestionable necessity.

So it was with mixed emotions that I donated my favorite LBD to Goodwill a few weeks ago.

It was the perfect dress, really… my own little shopping miracle when I found it on a rack at a discount store five years ago. Pretty and party-ready, it was chiffon with a swirly skirt, and both the dress and the price tag fit me to a T. Different accessories dressed it up and dressed it down, so it was my fall-back party dress, and it made me feel like a cross between Audrey and Marilyn. It looked just like this, only black:
I wore that dress to my literary agent’s fancy wedding in New York (red flower at the bust, red shoes, pearl bracelet)… to Sparkle Plenty’s Roller Derby wedding in Austin (pearl choker, silver Converse)… at our Christmas Eve Lasagna Fest (pink flower at the bust, rhinestone choker)… and a birthday celebration at Habana (black patent Mary Janes). Whether I was feeling chubby or svelte, elegant or punk rock, my LBD never let me down.

And while I’m thrilled to be several sizes smaller than I was the last time an occasion demanded my LBD (Cheryl and Kirk’s wedding in Alaska last December… red lipstick, red shoes, red satin wrap, red satin purse, mary tyler moore/emma peel flip), it was traumatic to fold those flirty layers of chiffon into the donation bag.

It’s a sad state of affairs: I’m currently without an LBD.

To be fair, I have several black dresses. Knit sweater dress. Short va-va-voom rayon. Cotton tank. I just wore a velvet one to our corporate overlords’ holiday party. But I don’t have any affection for that frock. It’s just some fabric and thread. It’s not my trusted secret weapon when social duties call.

Today, I may have hit the jackpot. J. Crew is having a massive sale and free shipping, and after considering all the possibilities (silk vs. chiffon, surplice neck vs. scoop, petite vs. regular length), I’ve chosen two LBDs to make future parties more festive.
Y’all can breathe easy now. The balance to my wardrobe has been restored.

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  • Team CS says:


    Your clothing posts always make me want to buy new clothes. Although I don’t think I could have pulled off Sasha Fierce the way you do. 😉

    Your dresses are lovely! I’m still searching for an LBD to fill some space in my closet – and in my heart.

    Although there’s one LBD that I have that I absolutely love – but I’ve never worn it. It’s not all that classy though – it’s kind of Freak Flaggish – maybe. Let’s just say that I’m still learning to embrace the sexy.

  • Melicious says:

    Ok! Now you have to show us your LBD. You MUST.

  • c9 says:

    These are both excellent representations of the LBD. I can’t wait to see you rock them!

  • Melicious says:

    Thanks, C9! I’m a *little* worried ’cause the J. Crew models have ZERO boobs. I hope they fit!